Tag: Drake Spaeth

Madness and beauty in the heart of darkness


Madness need not be all breakdown. It may also be break-through. It is potential liberation and renewal as well as enslavement and existential death.       –R. D. Laing I begin this writing shortly after learning of the unexpected death of John Forbes Nash, Jr. and his wife, Alicia. John Nash was a Nobel… Read more »

Reflections of a psychospiritual therapist or a psychotherapeutic spiritualist


“It’s all in your head. You just don’t know how big your head really is.” –Lon Milo DuQuette I write this essay two days before the start of the Eighth Annual Conference of the Society for Humanistic Psychology (APA Division 32), held this year at the school where I teach. I have spent most of… Read more »

I will always find you: The homing of human connection


In Chicago, as is usual for this time of year, winter’s clutch is still a tight fist. Yet, the blue of the sky is creeping into the jewel tones. This very morning I caught with deep satisfaction my first glimpse of a flock of wild geese arrowing unerringly and urgently northward toward their home, the… Read more »

Silence, Shunning, and Shying Away: Destroying Personhood and Connection Through Preserving the Peace


“If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” My well-intentioned parents repeated this injunction so often to my sister and me throughout our childhood, presumably to discourage us from bullying other children and to encourage us to model pro-social behavior for our peers. Words certainly do deliver deep, emotional wounds that can… Read more »

Holding Fire With Parchment: Personal Power and Greatness Through Soul Loss


Very recently, Clarissa Pinkola Estés, poet and Jungian psychoanalyst, said of the late Robin Williams, “He learned for 63 years of his life how to be ‘the fire handler.’ That is where I would praise him, for what he has managed to do for six+ decades; handle fire, while being made of parchment” (Estés, 2014)…. Read more »

Found Sunglasses: Existential Elation and the Summer Solstice


The symbol for awen. I write this just after the Summer Solstice, and I am on FIRE. The heat of my excitement seems to come directly from the Sun in its annual prime. Varied, multi-hued, beautiful images—recognizably concrete or mercurially abstract—are bubbling up from the deep spring of my psyche, ideas like reflected glints of… Read more »

The Two-Way Mirror: Projection, Responsibility, and Connection


Here in Chicago, we have been experiencing the first tantalizing hints of spring after the coldest winter on record. I am giddy with excitement to see the tips of tiny daffodil shoots poking shyly through the soil. The weeping willows that line our yard have quite suddenly and boldly sported the yellow tone that heralds… Read more »

Floating Shards of Ice: Insights from a Frozen Urban River


Photo by Drake Spaeth. During any active semester, my commuting routine every Monday through Thursday includes in part a brisk walk in the morning and again in the evening back and forth between Chicago’s Union Station and the Merchandise Mart, one of the buildings that houses The Chicago School of Professional Psychology where I teach…. Read more »